Reading Level: Young Adult
Genre: Science Fiction/Graphic Novel
Length: 136 pages
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: November 12, 2013
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in the Mara series
Source: eGalley from NetGalley.com
Rating: 4/5 stars
I got a copy of this graphic novel as an eGalley to review through NetGalley(dot)com. I actually liked this graphic novel quite a bit.
Future Earth is focused on two things: war and sports. From a very young age kids are put in camps to train for one or the other. Mara is placed in a volleyball camp at a very young age. Mara is the world’s best volleyball player, and she’s living the high life…until something happens during a match that makes it look like Mara cheated. As sponsors drop her and Mara’s way of life falls apart, she continues to develop more and more powerful super powers. The more powers she develops the less human she becomes and humanity as a whole begins to fear and hate her.
The illustration throughout this graphic novel is really well done. I love that Mara is illustrated as an athlete and not as a disproportionate female. She’s beautiful and parties some, but mostly she is a tough lean athlete. It was nice to have a female character in a graphic novel that isn’t objectified but really looks like the athlete she is.
I loved the world as well. It is a bit dystopian and definitely science fiction. I was surprised at how well the world was built in this graphic novel, there’s not a lot of space here for world-building.
Mara is also a very interesting character. She’s a hard-worker, determined, like to have fun sometimes, and is completely thrown when her body starts to have strange new powers. Watching her change from hard-working athlete to something that is incredibly powerful and almost non-human was interesting. She goes from scared to angry to totally ambivalent to humanity’s opinion of her.
Watching the reaction to the world as Mara changed to something completely alien to them was also intriguing. As you can imagine it’s not pretty. You see the best and the worst of humanity here. I loved that there is some humor as well to counterbalance the darkness to this story.
The graphic novel ends well, but the reader ends up having more questions than answers at the end of it all.
Overall I found this graphic novel to be surprisingly enjoyable. I loved the world built here and loved watching how drastically Mara changes throughout the story, I also enjoyed watching the world’s very public reaction to Mara’s developing super powers. I would love to read more about Mara in future installments and find out more about the why and how behind her story. I would recommend this book to graphic novel fans of science fiction and super heros.